Startupbootcamp, a global network of accelerators recently held a payments-themed hackathon at the Rainmaker Loft in London. This "PayTastic" hackathon challenged attendees to find fintech solutions to some of today's major challenges including giving users better control over personal budgets, helping bank's improve customers' payments experience, or providing a seamless digital wallet experience.
The hackathon brought together about 70 problem-solvers, on September 23, for a chance to win an exhibitor's stand at PayExpo Europe 2017 and an opportunity to pitch at the Payments Dragon Den. Market data cloud solutions provider and sponsor of the hackathon, Xignite, selected a team that made the best use of an Xignite market data API.
Xignite winners included Malavika Balachandran, Lorenzo Turrino, and Chris Hamilton. Their product, Ashworth, used the Xignite API for FX rates to calculate transaction costs incurred when a purchase was made in a different currency from the settlement currency that the merchant will receive. This new service would allow new online retailers and merchants to seamlessly pick from several payment service providers and pick the provider that offers the smallest fee, saving the merchant time. In other words, Ashworth would be the Skyscanner for PSP.
All three hackers came from different backgrounds but came together on the first evening of the event after Hamilton pitched his idea about payment service providers. Balachandran is currently an MBA candidate at London Business School. His interest in fintech was ignited while he worked at an investment bank. Turrino is currently a software engineer at Farm Digital and has always found fintech interesting despite not currently working in the field. Hamilton manages software projects at Nexmo and has been interested in fintech since he worked for an investment bank at age 19.